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Bondinho de Santa Teresa

Bonde de Santa Teresa


A Companhia Ferro-Carril de Santa Teresa, hoje conhecido como Bonde de Santa Teresa, é uma empresa de transporte de passageiros urbana que foi criada em 1872, tornando-se símbolo do bairro carioca de mesmo nome, no Brasil.




Subindo a rua Almirante Alexandrino. O bonde vai do bairro ao centro da cidade pelos Arcos da Lapa, um antigo aqueduto.

O bondinho de Santa Teresa além de transportar moradores e turistas pelas ladeiras íngremes do bairro, se tornou um cartão-postal da cidade e um verdadeiro museu ambulante desse antigo meio de transporte, hoje praticamente desativado no mundo inteiro.


Atualmente é a única linha de bonde em funcionamento na cidade.


Inicialmente, o bonde era verde, mas passou a ser pintado de amarelo após reclamações de moradores que diziam que o bonde "sumia" em meio à vegetação do bairro.

Os bondes no Rio de Janeiro usavam uma bitola de 1.100 mm, incluindo o Bonde de Santa Teresa.

Hoje os bondes são operados pela CENTRAL, estatal fluminense responsável pelo transporte de passageiros.




The Santa Teresa Historic Tramway


The Santa Teresa Historic Tramway is a suburban tramway network in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the only remaining big city tram system of Brazil (and South America), and also the oldest operating electric tram in Brazil (and South America). It is one of the three tramways of Brazil, which is running continuously from its opening date. The two others are Campos do Jordão interurban tram & Itatinga non-public tram. All other cities has closed their systems, and only three towns - Belém, Campinas & Santos have returned their tram as a heritage service.




This tram network is the remaining portion of the once large extensive Rio De Janeiro tramway system. It was the second oldest tram system of South America. The first horse tram, first steam tram, first battery tram and first electric tram; all arrived here. Almost every street was served by tram before sixties.


Tram routes


Before the sixties, Rio de Janeiro tram covered the entire downtown and all near suburbs. But most routes have closed. Only two routes are now remained.

•Route 1 - Largo da Carioca - Silvestre (most service ends at Dois Irmaos). With the exception of two return trips on Saturdays all trams terminate at Dois Irmaos.

•Route 2 - Largo da Carioca - Paula Matos




The flat fare is R$0.70, for any distance. Ticket is issued from ticket counter at Largo Da Carioca, and from conductor at other places. Trams leave every half an hour between 6am and 11pm.




The rolling stock is perhaps one of the most backdated. It maintains still (almost) century old stocks with wooden cross bench open sided design, and no window. The cars are not strong, but regularly painted to show as a heritage view. It takes electricity from wire by trolley pole, another backdated feature. All trams are bi-directional.


Depots & termini


During the heyday, there were many depots and termini -

Previous depots were - Cascadura, Penha, Méier, Alto da Boa Vista, Usina, Triagem, 28 de Setembro, Vila Isabel, São Cristóvão, Bonjardim, Rua Larga, Santo Antonio, Largo do Machado, Largo dos Leoes, Cosme Velho. All these depots are now closed.

The only running tram depot is Santa Teresa.

Previous termini were - Freguesia, Taquara, Madureira, Iraja, Cavalcante, Inahauma, Caxambi, Piedade, Quintino Bocaiúva, Caju, Andarai, Santa Alexandrina, Estrela, Praia Vermelha, Leme, Gávea. All these termini are now closed.

Current termini are 4, Largo da Carioca, Silvestre, Dois Irmaos & Paula Matos.

Only one mule tram depot Vila Guarani is preserved.

Some places, which were served by tram, are now served by Rio de Janeiro Metro. Those are - Irajá, Inhauma, Triagem, São Cristóvão etc.


Alignment & interchanges


Tram passes over a very high aqueduct just after departing Largo da Carioca. Curvulho is the only stop with island platform and shed. Largo dos Guimarães Jn. has a two level alignment, upper level towards Silvestre, and lower level towards Paula Matos.

Previously, there were many interesting portions of the network -

•In Madureira, there were two termini, on both side of the rail line, due to impossibility of crossing the rail line.

•There were two tunnels, one for Copacabana route, and another for Lepe route. (The only Brazilian tram tunnel).

•Metro line 1 almost follows many lines of the previous system.

•The four corner points of the network were - Irajá (in north), Leme (in east), Gávea (in south), & Taquara (in west).


Advantages and criticism


Due to the gauge incompatibility, the Santa Teresa tramway was always not directly linked to other former routes. This system was always special because of its mostly reserved track, and running through a beautiful viewing area. Although except the aqueduct, the rest of the route is now unreserved and shared by motor vehicles, trams on these routes run on the lap of Santa Teresa hill, so a birds eye view of Rio de Janeiro city centre is very enjoyable. Also, the only tram carrying aqueduct of the world is very high, and a great thrill happens when a tram passes over it. Former standard gauge electric trams ran under the aqueduct. This is also the cheapest transportation of Rio de Janeiro.

By contrast, as the tramcars are very old designed, and there is no proper doors, it is open to all, particularly teenage road boys, who often rides free on tram. The tram often overcrowded by them, and they perhaps snatch bags, cameras etc. of tourists and run away very fast from tram. So except tourists, there are no much regular paid passengers, so the tramway are increasing loss. Only five regular stocks are under service. Tracks are not well-maintained, so the traveling speed is low, and bumpy. Due to its low speed, it is ideal for enjoying sightseeing, but not for daily commuting.

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Taken on July 12, 2009